Firewire foul up

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by ruffknuckles, Dec 1, 2004.

  1. ruffknuckles macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2004
    Location:
    NYC
    #1
    For some reason I have lost communication with my firewire devices in my G4 Dual 1GHz. Neither of the two ports will work with my Ipod or my DV cam. I have tried turning the camera off and on, quiting and relaunching both Imovie and FCP, and restarting the computer. One weird thing is that Itunes does not recognize my Ipod, but it does appear to be charging while it is plugged in. Any ideas?
     
  2. StarbucksSam macrumors 65816

    StarbucksSam

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2004
    Location:
    Washington, D.C.
    #2
    I wish I could help, but I just wanted to let you know that we're in the same boat. ONE of my two FireWire ports on my 2.5 year old iMac G4/800 Superdrive 15" is having this same problem - like with my iPod or iSight, it is evident that power is flowing, but data is not.
     
  3. Mechcozmo macrumors 603

    Mechcozmo

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2004
    #3
    Maybe the port is dying? The buses are separate for each FireWire port, allowing you to have much faster speeds to transfer data over than if Apple made the ports share a bus. So, it seems that the port's data control is dying.

    Try doing the standard "Mac Fixit" thing:
    Repair Permissions,
    Run Cron Scripts,
    Restart,
    Update the OS if possible.

    Did you do anything to your computer recently that change the way it worked?

    EDIT: Saw that neither of your ports were working. Eh... I dunno... :confused:
     
  4. StarbucksSam macrumors 65816

    StarbucksSam

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2004
    Location:
    Washington, D.C.
    #4
    I started seeing this problem, or at least I NOTICED it for the first time in 5/04. This is becuase it was the first time I tried to use two FW devices simultaneously... the iSight I had just gotten, and my iPod.

    One port works, and the other doesn't. When I say works, I mean data goes through.

    In the "non-working" port, I can PLUG IN the iPod or iSight and the iSight's LED will go green and the iPod will charge, but the iSight won't show up in iChat and the iPod won't show up in iTunes.

    In the working port, everything charges/lights-up/syncs etc.

    I'm on 10.3.6.
     
  5. Mechcozmo macrumors 603

    Mechcozmo

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2004
    #5
    After a permission repair, does it do that?

    And do you have AppleCare?
    What about an Apple Store nearby?
     
  6. diamond geezer macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2004
    #6
    Buy a PCI firewire card cause your ports are dead.
     
  7. StarbucksSam macrumors 65816

    StarbucksSam

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2004
    Location:
    Washington, D.C.
    #7
    I don't have money to like.. deal with this. Like I was hoping it would be an at-home fix kind of thing or something obvious. Done all the standard troubleshooting like the permissions repair etc.
     
  8. thecow macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2003
    Location:
    Timonium MD
    #8
    So you have money to waste at starbucks, but you don't have $30 to buy a PCI FireWire card? You need to work on your money management skills.
     
  9. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    Joined:
    May 19, 2002
    #9
    Haven't seen one on the desktops, but remember the ports may reset themselves -- or you may try a board reset.

    But here's a short on dead FW for PBs...

    http://www.medicalmac.com/mac98e.html

    Of course, if the port gets a lot of use, you may need to repair the solder joints.
     
  10. StarbucksSam macrumors 65816

    StarbucksSam

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2004
    Location:
    Washington, D.C.
    #10
    That was incredibly unwarranted. Like, did I say I buy Starbucks every day? I like their coffee... big deal. Thank you for the information though, but please don't judge me based on my USERNAME.

    It's actually not a question of that at ALL.... I like to MAINTAIN rather than SUBSTITUTE. I'd rather fix the roof I have than get a new roof.
     
  11. ruffknuckles thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2004
    Location:
    NYC
    #11
     
  12. Mechcozmo macrumors 603

    Mechcozmo

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2004
    #12
    Hey, read his (meaning StarbucksSam's) post. He has an iMac-- no PCI cards. No expandability aside from an ultra tricky hard drive and optical drive upgrade. Not really worth it for the work you need to put into it, and if you do, its pretty hard.

    And if you take signatures seriously, well... :rolleyes:

    Oh, and ruffknuckles, the stuff inside the [QUOTE and the [/QUOTE part will be made to look different so that people know that you are referencing someone else. (NOTE: I am leaving out the ']' part of each tag so that I don't get my post messed up with weird quotes. If you insert your text in there, it is nearly impossible to tell that you added stuff. So, just to to the end of the QUOTE part, click there, and press return a couple times. Example:

     
  13. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2001
    Location:
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    #13
    These are classic fried FW symptoms. As for the solution, there are two possibilities:

    A) Your port is permanently fried, and there's no solution but buying a card for the G4 owner. At least they're not expesnive, but the iMac fellow is out of luck.

    B) The part of the computer that controls it is glitching up.

    B has been discussed extensively on the web (try MacInTouch.com in addition to the links above), but most solutions boil down to this:

    1) Try zapping the PRAM.
    2) Try booting into Open Firmware (option-command-O-F at startup) and typing "reset-nvram" and "reset-all".
    3) Try turning the computer off and pressing the "cuda" button (it's the little button up by the battery on the motherboard--only press it once).
    4) Let the computer COMPLETELY power down--shut down, unplug everything including the AC cord, remove the battery on the motherboard, push the power button once to let the capacitors bleed down (it should twich a bit when you push it), then leave it shut down for several hours. Put everything back together, and if it still doesn't work, you're out of luck.

    (The instructions above are for the original poster with the G4 tower, not the iMac, but the situation is similar in that case.)
     
  14. Mechcozmo macrumors 603

    Mechcozmo

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2004
    #14
    Sorry, we are getting StarbucksSam and ruffknuckles mixed up. ruffknuckles has the DP 1Ghz G4 Tower with two fried ports. StarbucksSam has the iMac with 1 dead port, but power is still getting to it.

    I'll edit my post now...
     
  15. thecow macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2003
    Location:
    Timonium MD
    #15
    I'm really sorry. I was not thinking and I was really ticked off at someone when I posted that.

    To answer your question, is there any way that you could boot off of another copy of OS X, like on another mac or an external HD? If you have access to another mac, just connect them together with a 6 pin to 6 pin FireWire cable with the good port and boot the other one into firewire disk mode by holding t when you boot it. Set your iMac to boot from the other Mac's HD and see if the port works. I know that it's unlikely that it's a software problem but once my PowerBook's trackpad didn't work and a fresh install fixed it. If you bring it to an apple store, they can boot it off of one of their external HDs to check it.
     
  16. crazytom macrumors 6502a

    crazytom

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2002
    Location:
    IL
    #16
    I'd have to agree with the CUDA reset and reboot (unplug all your FW devices). I had very similar problems with my G4...when I'd plug in my Canon camera, I couldn't use any other FW device. I slowly learned that when I do use it to make sure that it's the only thing in use and to unplug it when I'm done. I think there were iSight problems that were quite similar, I don't know if those have been resolved, but I'd guess that it is the culprit.
     
  17. StarbucksSam macrumors 65816

    StarbucksSam

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2004
    Location:
    Washington, D.C.
    #17
    Okay, I have a BIG history test tomorrow, so I'm not going to get to DOING any of this tonight, but I DO want to clear up my options:

    I cannot get an expansion/FW card because my computer does not support it.
    I CAN try some software/firmware things that I'll try tomorrow when I have better understanding of what they do and how to do them without messing anything up.
    I CAN try a few hardware test options, but I might have to have it replaced.
    Apple won't do anything for me b/c I'm WAY out of warranty.
     
  18. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    Joined:
    May 19, 2002
    #18
    Just like the USB ports -- if you overdraw the power supply limit the OS turns the device/port off.
    Since that is a shared power supply between all ports (that's in the developer docs somewhere), you have to watch what bus powered devices you have plugged into the ports.

    http://developer.apple.com/documentation/Hardware/hardware2.html
     
  19. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2004
    Location:
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    #19
    One thing you can get for any Mac is a Firewire hub or repeater. Some of them also supply power. So if you have only one working port left, you can still run more than one device. If you have Firewire devices that might draw too much power, a powered hub will supply power, not your Mac.

    Firewire 6-pin plugs are relatively easy to insert "backwards" - in the process they bend the shell of the jack. If you have a loose or bent jack and you manage to short a power lead to ground or a data line, you are in for some damage. Carefully inspect your cables and jacks for damage. Discard any cable that is in the least bit damaged.

    A hub or repeater can be used in situations where you are constantly plugging and unplugging. If a Firewire port is going to get damaged, it'll be the hub's, which is replaceable, rather than your Mac's which is not.

    Thanks
    Trevor
    CanadaRAM.com
     

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